Assuring Contact Center Performance with SD-WAN

Throughout their history, contact center operators have often been on the technological cutting edge:

  • They were among the earliest commercial adopters of VoIP, quickly grasping its potential to cut telephony costs, improve call quality and broaden communications options.
  • They have in some cases deployed modern cloud computing infrastructure to great effect, via services like the AWS-based Amazon Connect, which enables rapid cloud contact center creation and flow setup.
  • They also have some of the most obvious use cases for artificial intelligence, such as voice recognition, automation of agent answers and – ideally – reduction of holds and average response times.

With this track record in mind, it should come as no surprise that contact centers have been especially keen to adopt software-defined WAN (SD-WAN) solutions. Their central reliance on VoIP as well as their requirements for at least four-nines availability (i.e., 99.99 percent uptime) make the proactive management, constant unidirectional path measurement and bandwidth liquidity of SD-WAN a natural fit within contact center networks.

First Contact: How SD-WAN Has Transformed the Call Center

Contact center operators have usually resorted to MPLS, via dual lines, to ensure such acceptable reliability. However, this setup is almost always overly expensive – sometimes costing 10 times the equivalent amount of broadband bandwidth – and over-provisioned. Plus, the geographic dispersion of contact centers frequently means reliance on numerous MPLS service providers, with all the cost and complexity that comes with it.

Enter SD-WAN, which helps solve all of these problems:

  • It prioritizes traffic to ensure VoIP apps do not get bogged down by competition from lower-priority packets.
  • By doing so, it helps improve the cost-effectiveness of existing MPLS links while opening up the option for other modes of transport (e.g., commodity Internet) without compromising Quality of Service.
  • The centralized management interface of SD-WAN further reduces costs by lessening dependence on multiple MPLS carriers and complex infrastructure.

The overall intelligence and advanced routing of solutions from experienced SD-WAN providers, such as Talari Networks, help future-proof today's contact centers, especially as they evolve beyond the traditional stereotype of a room packed with headset-wearing representatives.

As we noted earlier, cloud apps have made significant inroads into these facilities, in the form of video conferencing software, CRM, social media and automated call distributors. Such applications place great additional stress on legacy networks, pushing MPLS WANs to the limit with new traffic flows. Running "hot" at 97 percent sustained capacity is quite achievable with SD-WAN.

Fortunately, an SD-WAN ensures that the most important traffic is sent down the best open path at a given moment, and that the full aggregated bandwidth of all WAN links is available to critical apps such as VoIP and video. Support for any type of transport, including inexpensive broadband, also lowers the cost of building, operating, modifying and maintaining the network.

Contact centers are constantly evolving to deliver better service with more reliable and economical technology. SD-WAN should be a central component in any such strategy. You can get started with one from Talari, a proven SD-WAN provider, by clicking the banner below to learn more or contacting us directly for additional info.

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